1. What are the motives for Boeing in pursuing the merger with McDonnell-Douglas? What are McDonnell-Douglas’s motives? How is the merger a better outcome than each firm’s best alternative fallback strategy? In light of these benefits, would the companies be wise to foreswear the long-term supply contracts opposed by the Commission?
2. Consider policymaking in the United States on the merger. Does the FTC decision represent the fair application of anti-trust rules? Does it appear to have been influenced by pressure to support a national champion? To what extent are the long-term supplier contracts germane?
3. What are the interests of other groups and firms (suppliers, consumers, airlines, Department of Defense, etc.) with respect to the proposed merger? Does the position taken by the House of Representatives represent these interests in a balanced way, or is it the product of lobbying by the two American firms in particular?
4. In what ways, and to what extent, would the merger affect the competitive position of Airbus? With what aspects of the merger should Airbus be particularly concerned? If it cannot block the merger, what conditions should it ask the Commission to apply?
5. Consider policymaking in the European Union. Does the Commission’s position represent a faithful application of EU competition law? To what extent might it have been influenced by a national champion strategy? What actors within the European Union, aside from Airbus itself, would most favor such a strategy?
6. What is the pure economic case for and against the merger? What are the merits of subsidizing aircraft production? What are the implications of the observation that the global market in double-aisled passenger aircraft is a natural monopoly? Is the Commission’s argument about cross-subsidization between military and civilian production supported by the historical success of firms? Are subsidies a concern of competition policy or industrial policy?
7. In what ways are U.S. and EU competition policies compatible and incompatible? Why, despite the existence of a U.S.-EU agreement on competition policy, did U.S. and EU officials disagree fundamentally on the Boeing-McDonnell Douglas merger? How strong is the case for coordinating competition enforcement and merger review? What institutional mechanisms are needed to improve cooperation? Is a common transatlantic or global competition policy desirable?
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